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Resentment towards those who were not there

TanyaC97
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

Yes, there is a lot of background that I will spare you all from.

I can not help but feel OVERLY resentful towards my husband's family since my diagnosis. Yes, they have never been crazy about me, oh well. But they were not there at all for him for the 6 months of he!! we just went through. A few calls and two meals dropped off are supposed to make things ok and like they went all out. They live close and had no excuse. Feel how you want to about me, but HE needed them, our son needed them.

Any suggestions as to how I get past this?
Am I the only one who expects "family" to be there and was let down?

RAB73
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2011

I know how you feel. My partner is nearing the end of his six months of chemo, and two of his sisters and some other family members have not even contacted him since his diagnosis. All of our family is out of town, so we have been relying on our generous friends to help out when needed. But a phone call or a card from his family members would have been nice. Sorry, I don't have any advice for you as we are dealing with the same thing currently. Best of luck to you and your husband.

palmyrafan's picture
palmyrafan
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 2011

I have been fighting the beast (brain cancer) for 17 years and my own family almost has no contact with me. Granted I live out of state away from them, but so does one of my brothers (and his family) My parents and other siblings seem to have no problem talking to him on a weekly basis and yet I am lucky if I hear from my dad (who I am close to) on a monthly basis. Never hear from any of my siblings either.

My husband and I figure it is because it has hit too close to home for them. They are the world's biggest ostriches; stick their heads in the sand. The figure after all the surgeries and radiation therapy that I should be fine. Well....guess what? I'm not. And my husband (who should be nominated for sainthood) really could have used their moral support. Instead, he is the one trying to "shore them up". Grrr...snarl....hiss..... I got more support (as did he) from his mother, Annie (R.I.P. sweet Annie) and she lived on the opposite coast!!!

Not sure if my family wants to live in their make-believe world, if they are afraid they'll catch what I have (doubt it, don't think brain cancer is contagious) or if they truly just don't get it.

Wish I had some answers for you sweetheart. What I can tell you is that my husband and I have many near and dear friends, neighbors and colleagues who have stepped up to the plate to offer my husband the moral support he needs and deserves. We stopped relying on family a long time ago.

Hang in there.

Teresa

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Tanya and welcome. You come here and vent all you want my friend. Hope you feel some what better now. Teresa summed it up quite well, They just "don't get it." No, they don't and they never will. My dad was dx with esophageal cancer in 11/08. We live in Va. My one brother lives in NJ. My brother hid his head in the sand as soon as he heard the news of our dad. My dad fought this cancer for 16 months. My brother came to see him twice during those 16 months. Twice!! The second time he came was the day my dad passed away. No lie. My mom had to have bypass surgery in Dec 2010, a 9 hour surgery. He did not come. You are not alone. These experiences only make us stronger. They are the ones who are wrong. They are the ones who will suffer. God knows. You take all of this anger and all of this energy and put it into yourself and your family. Use it to heal yourself. Do not waste anymore time on his family. They will come around, and if they don't, it is not your fault. keep keeping on, and keep in touch. We are always here.
Tina in Va

lbridgers30
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

hi Tina,
I understand where you are coming from. My Dad was diagnosed with Kidney cancer in October 2011. I have one brother,here in the same state as me and another one clear across the united states. The one here has not helped me at all. I'm married with 2 girls and my dad has been staying with us since October. It has been crazy to say the least. I have no one to help us in my family. My husbands family is not doing well health wise either. Where my dad gets treatment the Dr.s thought my husband was my dad's son because he takes him so much. We take him every week for treatment and sometimes twice a week. And sometimes 3 times a week. And it's not that close to us. My Dad's home is almost 2 hours away and he needs repairs done on it and the grass cut & I cant get no one in my family to help. Talk about stress. Family can surprise you!! Thanks for the encouraging words :)

Noellesmom
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

I know you have figured this out, lost it again, remembered it and still wondered about it - you know your family is better off without this kind of people.

It's that simple. Whatever y'all went through as a family will make you stronger: their casserole didn't do a thing for you. I bet you never counted on them before and you surely never will again.

Hugs, Tanya.

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

Sometimes I feel as I am the only person in the world to have these feeling, yet I wake to see more and more people feel this way. I don't know why we struggle with so much and can't seam to hold on to the people we think should be there for us. I ask myself all the time what could I do different. I just don't know.
I think we want family to mean more than friends. but sometimes we know our friends better than family. Sometimes when family say or do something that seams silly or dumb, we get angry at them . I am rumbling on cause I know how much hurt families can do. I have learned more in these last three yars than I ever wanted to about what family means. Sometimes I think they fear they will say or do the wrong thing or they just don't care or they have to look at their own mortality. They are just people .
I no longer feel angry at mine I excepted that they are not there for me. That life will go on and I have to make the best of what it is.
I hold the people who have been here for me so close to my heart and let the others go. I am just me.
Jennie

TanyaC97
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you all for your kind words, support and understanding. It has really helped. I need to let it all go and realize it is their loss. They can feel how they want to about me, but they are losing out on things with their family members (my husband and son). I guess it is better I found out all this now, rather than later.

kmgerhke
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2011

Back ground-Lost my hubby to kidney cancer-Mom was diagnosed last week with same . I planned on moving to NY to be close since I live in florida. Do alot of facebook and vent my feelings-There is 7 of us-I got-your putting mom in her grave,Your playing the victim,You cant stay with Mom,How dare you tell us what is wrong with her-They have nmade me feel so unwanted. So for my mothers sake-I wont go-I will not hate her for making me lose my soul to them.So her and I lose cause I honestly dont know if she feels the same as my sisters-so I feel divorced from my family. again. and they wonder why I moved to florida. Mind you my heart aches and the diffrence is if Mom said I need you I would come in a heart beat. But as Oprha said sometimes you have to delete people in your life that are toxic. There go my sisters.

ms.sunshine
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2010

Forgive them, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve to be free of them. Do not allow anger to fester within you. If you harbor anger there will be no joy, peace, or love with in you, and they are not worth that.

Forgiving them does not mean you have to hang out with them. Spend your time on people who appreciate and value your friendship. Sometimes you have to cut the ties with toxic people to save yourself.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

You took the words right out of my mouth. It is hard to deal with people who don’t think much about you let alone if it is family. It is a hard thing to do but you have to get over not liking them because they don’t like you, if not it will end up killing you not them.

You don’t have to be around them make other friends and enjoy your life, do things that make you happy and glad. If the husband and son need the family on his side let them be a part of their life not you. If you do come in contact with them don’t show anger get passed that and show friendship because you are now a better person then they are.

Put God in your life and let him deal with your heart.
Hondo

Wangari
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2011

hey everyone,

I lost my mum this April. i'm only 26 and have two other siblings. My dad's family have never like my mum. All through her illness, they only came once to see her and after the funeral, i've never heard from them. I remember the first few months, I was so angry. I wanted to go and just put all of them in their places. But i'll never forget my grandmother's(mum's mum) advice.

It's really hard to forgive, im still working on it. Though I still get into that place of anger again. however, Tanya, you need to get rid of the toxic people in your life. As soon as you release that anger, you'll be able to move on.

I'm sure there are people who have come into your life who are very supportive. Focus on that rather than those who chose not to be in your life.

Hugs
Wangari

nen127
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012

Yeah, I completely understand. Luckily, my mom and grandparents were there for me. I had a sarcoma in my chest wall.... my mom stayed with me through surgery and chemo (all in-patient). I also had a couple friends who were ther, but there was a couple people who I haven't heard from the whole time.

My workplace (I am a paramedic) is supposed to be set like a second family. It isn't like most jobs. They even call themselves a family. While, I was out.... they did a huge breast cancer awareness where they wore pink shirts for the month of October. While, I think it is nice they did that, I find it insensitve that they have "family member" who has a completely different type of cancer and was out fighting it. So I know it isn't a real family but I felt let down. And to get past it... I have no idea, and I don't know what I am going to do....

nen127
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012

Yeah, I completely understand. Luckily, my mom and grandparents were there for me. I had a sarcoma in my chest wall.... my mom stayed with me through surgery and chemo (all in-patient). I also had a couple friends who were ther, but there was a couple people who I haven't heard from the whole time.

My workplace (I am a paramedic) is supposed to be set like a second family. It isn't like most jobs. They even call themselves a family. While, I was out.... they did a huge breast cancer awareness where they wore pink shirts for the month of October. While, I think it is nice they did that, I find it insensitve that they have "family member" who has a completely different type of cancer and was out fighting it. So I know it isn't a real family but I felt let down. And to get past it... I have no idea, and I don't know what I am going to do....

don09's picture
don09
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2009

For 8 yrs.I was a member of a small town Church, I had moved here from another state, I had no husband, parents, or siblings, my Church family was really all the family I had, and I felt quite blessed to have them in my life. About a year prior to my diagnosis,the Pastors wife had breast cancer, I witnessed first hand how tentative everyone was to her every need, the entire Church, myself included took her to chemo, arranged daily meals, visits to her home, checking in on her when her husband wasn't home,I had never seen so much love and caring put into action before, it was wonderful! A few months later I was diagnosed with lung cancer, and NOT ONE person from that Church ever called me, offered anything in the way of help. This was very hurtful and something I will never forget! As a result I left that Church, I have forgiven them, but it was a loooong process.

nen127
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2012

Yeah, I am sorry..... :-(

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

It is terribly hurtful when family or close friends turn away when you need them most. I think it has something to do with them having to face their own mortality through your situation, or having to admit that not everything in life can be conquered with a "positive" attitude, or having to admit that sometimes the bad things that happen to "other people", can hit awfully close to home.

My husband has been fighting Stage IV colon cancer for 2-1/2 years. It has shocked me to the core how some people have reacted -- both good and bad, both family and friends. I have often thought that God forbid, if the worst should happen, I will have a really difficult time not screaming "HYPOCRITE" at quite a few people at his funeral, especially the tears from people who now only see him when they have to, who don't go out of their way at all to even inquire how we are. I wonder when some of his friends are planning to see him again -- they are so busy with their lives -- but when do they plan to see him again, at his funeral?

But then, we have people that REALLY mean it when they say "call if you need anything". We have friends that stop by to see him when he is not feeling so well -- just to let us know they care and we are not alone. Friends who are willing to change their plans and do something more low key, or whatever he is up for, so they can spend time with him. I'm trying to choose to focus on them.

I have had some experience with forgiving big hurts and what I have learned is that forgiving releases you from the pain and hurt. You don't have to forget, or even have a relationship with the people who hurt you, but forgiving their insensitivity, coldness, cruelty -- whatever it might be -- frees you. Forgiving is a gift you give yourself and helps you move forward.

You and your family are their loss -- they are certainly not yours.

Peace in your hearts and healing to all of you and your loved ones.

Detroitgirl
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2011

So sorry you have had to endure this type of treatment from your husband's family. I have had a similar situation with my family. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and had to have high dose chemo and a stem cell transplant in Dec 2011. My Brother and Sister who live nearby, never even came to see me during my 12 day hospital stay. I thought they loved me? Even my Mother who has Metastatic Small Cell Lung Cancer, came to see me 3 times! Nearing the end of my stay my doctor suggested I tell them how I felt about this. I did. I just told them that I was disappointed. They lashed out with such anger and never even called or visited me or gave any help or support to my daughter or husband either during the grueling 3 months of initial recovery. Then 3 mos later my sister calls me and asks me if I'm feeling better now and invites me to a family gathering.... When I told her that I just went through the most difficult time in my life and she didn't even call or offer any support. She told me she could never live up to my expectations... and other very mean comments, (think she feels guilty and converted it to anger). I said, " What? A phone call? A visit?"

Anyway, it has been a very painful experience. I have been lucky to have a great husband and a couple of friends who were there for me and his family who stepped up when they could. I have decided to make a new family for myself. Now that I feel a little more energy, I am going to get out and meet more friends. I am learning to forgive. I will not see them unless I absolutely have to due to events occurring among my cousins. Jesus said, " Love your enemies." When I think of them I pray for them, and ask for the healing of my heart as well. I think the healing may take a long time, but I don't want to be bitter.

I wish you and your husband well and healing for your hearts.

terrineedssomejoy
Posts: 15
Joined: May 2012

I divorced my husband when I finished treating for my cancer. He complained that my 11 hour operation was scheduled for the day he had his hobby night. I got no support during two years of treatment from him. There are people who just have no empathy. You will be a strong person and be just fine without them. Good luck to you.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1092
Joined: Jul 2009

I asked my husband to leave after several years post treatment. There are many of us who find ourselves in that position for a variety of reasons, the incidence of divorce is pretty high amongst survivors so I have heard.

I remember distinctly one thing he said to me after I found out that he had met someone else pretty quickly after I asked him to leave, someone he worked with for years (sheesh). He said, when he finally told me about her after I had the shock of seeing them together and we had only been separated a short while and I didn't know whether we could work it out or not, he said to me 'well at least she does stuff'. What he meant by that is that she was active and out in the world doing normal things that I was now unable to do because I had so many side effects from the treatments.

Now I had treatments about 24 years ago so I don't think he even realized how badly I was affected but if he had maybe believed me when I talked of having so much fatigue and so much pain maybe he could have realized this inactivity wasn't my fault. Still that comment cut to the quick and only made me realize how all these side effects might affect me in more ways than just the physical over time, which they have.

Anywho know that you are not alone in losing your relationship due to the stressors of cancer on top of whatever else was going south in your relationship - that's when the real test of love kicks in - when one goes down with this or that.

All the best,
Bluerose

sue5749
Posts: 170
Joined: Dec 2010

My favorite saying is " Don't expect anything from anyone and you will never be disappointed"

Bearsmile
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2012

Hello I read this group of posts and I can totally relate. I have to say that I have found that it isn't always that familes and people don't care and don't want to help. For my family they had to come to terms that they were going to lose a loved one in thier own way. My Mom didn't want her brothers and sisters and her mother to see her so sick. My Dad's family doesn't want to interfere and crowd us. I have learned that when I need something I just need to ask and they then will do what they can at that time.
I have also learned not to have expectations since they just lead to resentments. I am not a mind reader and neither is anyone I know so I have to communicate with people. I am happier when I don't have expectations. It is hard not to resent those who aren't there or doing what you think they should. I learned after my Mom died that some people who I had resentment towards had feelings of guilt and other stuff they had to deal with on thier own. My brother lives on the west coast and sometimes I get angry and resent that he is not here dealing with my Dad but then I remind myself that I won't have guilt feelings for not being here. I am gettting so much by being here with him even if it is hard at times. I try to focus on the postive and remember that God has a plan for all of us that I don't understand but trust it is for the best. Hang in there. Dealing with cancer is not easy for anyone. I think those of us that are close to it really struggle but I am grateful for places like this that allow me to share and learn from others.
Thank you all for your sharings. I am doing better since joing this group. Have a great day and try and smile :)

MissNYC
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2012

Hi Tanya - Fortunately, I've been blessed. I am a transplant to Fla from NYC and while I do have a few cousin's here (who have been wonderful and have never let me down in my life- as well as my neighbor's. I couldn't rely and never did on my 2 siblings. While it hurts, that's life and I refuse to dwell. As you get older you learn to know who you can rely on. In the middle of my treatment's, my husband needed a triple by-pass. Yes, when it rains it pours. I was pretty weak from my treatments and my cousin/best friend drove me every day to see him in the hospital. Each neighbor on my block took turns making food. I almost had a breakdown when I found out about my husband's need for surgery and was so overwhelmed because we've always handled and took care of each other as well as anyone else who needed anything. I know it's easy to say....but try to let it go. If you can't do it alone, go talk to a professional. As for my siblings still up North.....never even got a phone call to see how my hubby is. Take care, Patti

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 928
Joined: May 2012

I had surgery and my sister went on vacation 3 days after my surgery without stopping by (she lives 5 minutes away) and when she returned she never even called. My other sister offered to "help me in any way possible" and didn't show up after day one because she was tired. My third sister did show up with food on day four after some begging that I really couldn't eat much and needed liquid foods of some sort and my fourth sister is the one in her turmoil herself, getting a divorce and did show up and brought food (things I couldn't eat but it's the thought that counts). My cousin was the best and spent the whole 4th day with me and brought me fruit. Everyone has their own lives. No one showed up until day 4 because it was a Tuesday that I had the surgery done. My friend offered anything and when I asked her for some simple chicken soup, she not only didn't bring it for a week, she only brought me one bowl when she did and fed the rest to her family for dinner the night before. And these people LIKE me! lol At some point I realized, there have been times I've showed up and times I didn't. You never know what's going on in someone else's life at the moment. Now with my second surgery my "vacation sister" is coming with me to visits because I asked her to and she's being more involved. I've already told everyone that I need help this time. I don't expect it, but I put it out there. I'm also going to be much more prepared this time so I can fend for myself. I really don't have any expectations though. People just don't understand what it's like. I never understood until now. It's no fun to be the sick one.

katenorwood
Posts: 1863
Joined: May 2012

Wanted to chime in here !
Just found myself in this position. After 6 months of my journey everyone exspects me to be all good, no more cancer or questions. what they probably will never understand (at least in my case and many others) is NO GUYS...sorry but I'm just beginning this bus ride. I cried and I mean really let it out, after a conversation with my only sister and Father this A.M. I am so glad to have found this site, directed by a higher power I guess. Things will never be the same...and our relationships with people will and do change. I was there physically and mentally for my dear mother during her journey and ending with cancer. It is exhausting and seems never ending, but I am so content in the knowledge I gave her my all. It's only been two years, giving my family the benefit of healing time. (or not) I don't know, but yes some days seem utterly lonely. Regards, Katie

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